Aldershot Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
12.15pm on Monday 26 December 2016
The Cards travel to the Shots on Boxing Day for the first ‘leg’ of the holiday double against their close neighbours. Neither side has been in great form recently but the Shots at least don’t have relegation worries hanging over them. The game is being televised by BT Sport but go along if you can to cheer on Garry Hill’s side in what is bound to be a tough encounter. Make sure, though, that you’ve noted the 12.15pm kick-off.
The Cards go into the holiday period sitting in 19th place in the table, only clear of the relegation places on goal difference as a result of Braintree Town’s midweek win at Boreham Wood. They will also have to try to recover from a poor run of games which has seen tame exits from the FA Cup and FA Trophy and a disappointing 0-0 home draw with fellow relegation strugglers, Guiseley, last Saturday. Looking hard for positives from that game, the defence at least recorded a clean sheet, although Guiseley missed a ‘sitter’ just before half-time and Brandon Hall had to be alert to preserve a point after the break. Other positives were a stronger showing from Fabio Saraiva and Frankie Sutherland in midfield, but the fact that so few goalscoring chances were created again was a worry – as was the over-reliance on Jake Caprice.
Garry Hill should at least be able to reintroduce skipper Keiran Murtagh into midfield and he will have the option of adding Charlie Carter too, who has now served his three-match ban for his dismissal against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup.
The Shots started this season at a gallop, reaching 5th spot by early October, but their form has slipped badly subsequently, with the side managing only two wins in their last 13 games. Defeats have included home reverses against Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup and East Thurrock United in an FA Trophy replay. Early season form rested greatly on a very solid defence. Nevertheless, the Shots’ home form in the league is good, with eight wins, one draw and three defeats. They now sit in 10th place with 36 points from 25 games. Last Saturday they lost 2-0 away at in-form Chester City.
Manager Gary Waddock, who returned to the club in May, brought in a number of new faces in the summer, including several players whom he had managed at Barnet and Wycombe Wanderers. Two of those signings were a cause of considerable regret to Cards fans as Waddock lured striker Scott Rendell and keeper Jake Cole to the EBB Stadium. Another ex-Card who signed up was defender Nick Arnold, who made two appearances for Woking in the 2014-15 season. Arnold, however, is injured.
Other signings included defender Anthony Straker, returning to the club to add to his total of over 200 appearances between 2007 and 2012, which was followed by spells with Southend United, York City, Grimsby Town and Motherwell; centre back Will Evans was signed from Eastleigh; captain Callum Reynolds joined from Boreham Wood; midfielder Liam Bellamy switched from Dover Athletic; highly-rated former Watford Academy winger, Bernard Mensah, arrived after loan spells at Braintree Town and Barnet; midfielder Jim Kellerman, a Wolves Academy graduate, signed up after a trial period; and striker Matt McLure, previously with the Daggers and before that with Waddock at Wycombe Wanderers, also joined. A player to look out for is striker Idris Kanu, who has just signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday, with a CV that includes breaking into the Hammers’ U21 side at the age of 15.
Waddock has recently announced that midfielders Josh Wakefield and Iffy Allen are to be released, while striker Charlie Walker is leaving by mutual consent in search of more first team football after an injury. But Dion Conroy’s loan from Chelsea has been extended till the end of the season and midfielder Kundai Benyu has joined on a month’s youth loan from Ipswich Town.
Aldershot Town Football Club
Official website: http://www.theshots.co.uk
The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 11.00am. Contact Alan Barnes (email@example.com) if you need to be picked up en route.
Head for Aldershot town centre. The ground is just by the railway bridge. Parking is available in the town centre ‘pay and display’ car parks, about a five-minute walk from the ground.
There are no trains running on Boxing Day between Woking and Aldershot.
Adult – Seating - £19; Standing - £17
Concession (Over 65, Military personnel ID required, Student 16-21 ID required) – Seating - £15; Standing - £13
Junior (11-U16) – Seating - £7; Standing - £5
Under 11’s – FREE (with paying adult – max 2 per adult)
Disabled same as above, with carer free in both sections.
Students can obtain a concession rate on production of an NUS card.
Woking fans will have to enter the ground via the Redan Hill turnstiles.
The Shots have nearly always had the bragging rights in games between these two sides but last season saw the Cards complete an unprecedented ‘double’ over their neighbours.
Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1
26 December 2015
The Cards went into this fixture in fine form, having won five of their last six games, whilst the home side had just managed their first win in eight games. Woking looked the stronger side in the first half and took the lead five minutes before half time when ‘man of the match’ Joey Jones slipped a ball through to Dan Holman, whose reverse pass found John Goddard, who finished with aplomb. Woking sat deep in the second half but rarely looked troubled against a lacklustre Shots side.
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Mark Ricketts, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, John Goddard (Guiseppe Sole 84), Matt Robinson, Bruno Andrade (Keiran Murtagh 69), Joe Quigley (Chris Arthur 77), Dan Holman, Cameron Norman
Goal: John Goddard (40)
Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane
Aldershot Town: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Sean McGinty, Sam Hatton (Dan Walker 72), Jim Stevenson, Tom Richards, Cheye Alexander, Omar Beckles, Jake Gallagher, Richard Brodie, Daniel Carr (Charlie Walker 63)
Unused subs: Dan Thomas, Damon Lathrope, Luke Oliver
Attendance: 3150 (710 Woking fans)
Woking 2 Aldershot Town 1
2 January 2016
Woking took the lead midway through the first half when Joe Quigley swept home after some typically skilful play from John Goddard had created the opening. Shortly before half-time the Cards added a second as Quigley reciprocated, nodding the ball on for Goddard to finish coolly past the Shots’ Phil Smith. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 74th minute when substitute Rhys Browne hammered home after Jake Cole had blocked the initial effort from Jim Stevenson. Corners and free-kicks rained in on the Woking goalmouth towards the end, with the woodwork saving Garry Hill’s side with two minutes to go, but the Cards held on for a win which put them only three points off the play-off places.
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Cameron Norman, Bruno Andrade (Chris Arthur 60), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts, John Goddard, Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 46), Joe Quigley (Keiran Murtagh 79)
Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane
Aldershot Town: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Sean McGinty, Sam Hatton (Dan Walker 32), Jim Stevenson, Tom Richards (Rhys Browne 50), Charlie Walker, Cheye Alexander, Omar Beckles, Jake Gallagher, Daniel Carr
Unused subs: Damon Lathrope, Luke Oliver, Dan Thomas
Attendance: 3708 (808 away fans)
Don’t forget that the ‘return’ fixture at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on New Year’s Day kicks off at 1pm. See http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/news/article/5718/start-your-2017-in-style-/ for a tasty-looking offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge.
Come on, you Cards!